Ex-Christian pastor David Madison brought up a very intriguing topic on Debunking Christianity blog today: Did Paul get the story of the Last Supper from the original disciples of Jesus, as most Christians believe, or did the authors of the Gospels get this story from Paul??
We know that the authors of Matthew and Luke copied Mark extensively. And the author of John says not one word about a Last Supper in his gospel. According to this gospel, Jesus was washing people’s feet the night of his arrest. So is it possible that the author of Mark got this story from Paul and simply added some embellishments??
Paul tells us almost nothing about the historical Jesus in his epistles. In fact, Paul never gives us any detailed stories about the life and deeds of Jesus, except one: the Last Supper. So why out of all the stories (allegedly) told to Paul by the disciples about Jesus, did he only pick the story of the Last Supper to include in his epistles? Why not a detailed story about the Crucifixion, or more importantly, the Resurrection? Christian apologists excuse the near total silence in Paul’s writings regarding the historical Jesus, saying that Paul was addressing specific issues with specific churches in his epistles: “Why would Paul bother telling stories about the historical Jesus in his epistles? That was not the purpose of these letters.” Ok… Maybe that’s true. But let’s look at a passage from Paul which represents one of the very few occasions that Paul does say something about the historical Jesus…or does he?
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[b] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[c]25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
–Paul of Tarsus, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11
Note the first line of this passage: “for I received from the Lord…”.
How very, very odd!
Paul doesn’t claim here that he received this information about the Last Supper from Peter and James during his two week stay with them in Jerusalem, which is what most Christian apologists will tell you is the means by which Paul knew this information. Nope. What’s more, Paul doesn’t even use the verb “received” in an anonymous sense when talking about how he received this information, as he does in chapter 15 of the same epistle when discussing how he obtained the list of (alleged) eyewitnesses to the appearances of the resurrected Jesus. Nope. Paul very clearly states that the information regarding the Last Supper came directly from the mouth of Jesus the Christ himself!
Wow. I never noticed that before!
Paul had another one of his trances! Paul was hearing voices in his head again.
The Lord’s Supper, the Last Supper, occurred in the mentally deranged brain of Paul, not in reality! The author of Mark, possibly a Pauline Christian living in Rome or Antioch, heard this story from Paul and simply added some embellishments when he retold it in his best seller—the Gospel of Mark!
My, my, my!
End of post.